UAE: You could soon shop at this Dubai Mall store in the metaverse

One would also be able to interact with other customers in the store, just like real-life



by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Fri 14 Oct 2022, 7:59 AM

Last updated: Fri 14 Oct 2022, 2:11 PM

Want to shop from Dubai Mall’s Etisalat store but don’t want to have to beat the traffic to get there?

Here’s a solution…instead of manoeuvring through the beeline of cars, you can now navigate the store in metaverse, with the future of digital shopping nearly arriving in Dubai.

Showcasing a prototype of Dubai Mall’s Etisalat store at the ongoing Gitex, which is the annual gathering of global technology giants and startups in Dubai, Abdul Mateen Mavad, Director, Infosys Technologies UAE explains that launching a store and creating a product for a virtual environment is a huge step in terms of time and resources.

He says, “Irrespective of where a potential customer is, they will be able to access, navigate, book orders and avail integrated services. What would be available by going to a mall physically, will soon be available at home.”

Explaining the display of the virtual store, he spoke of the new face for retailers who want to tap into the digital market.

“The initiative is to create a metaverse for Etisalat. We have taken a scenario of Dubai Mall Etisalat showroom and we have replicated that into our system. The design is the exact look alike of the Dubai Mall showroom. Once you tour the store you will see the products and services showcased and people can see the details of each product.”

The products can be viewed using two technologies, “One is virtual reality. People can wear VR glasses and the experience will be immersive. The second thing is the touch screen technology, whereby iPads or similar gadgets can be used, instead of using the VR glasses. A host will be available 24x7.”

One can interact with other customers in the metaverse store just like in real-life.

“The purpose of VR glasses and touchpads is to navigate. So that one feels they are moving inside the store. We have also integrated interactivity. Someone joining, let’s say, from Abu Dhabi or Fujairah can interact with each other. So, the idea behind this is when you walk into the Dubai Mall you might bump into a friend or start talking to someone. So, in this way you can talk to the people who are inside the store. Then, there is a host available, to guide and give information to the potential clients,” he adds.

Underlining a third aspect, Mavad points out, is “accessibility”. “Once you place orders on the metaverse there is an option whereby a QR code would be sent via SMS. This QR code can be taken to any kiosk which will be built all across the UAE Etisalat stores. You can be sitting in Fujairah and placing the order. Then you go to Fujairah’s Etisalat store and pick up your purchase. You don’t have to go all the way to the Dubai Mall to collect it.”

A study has apparently revealed that approximately 70 per cent of customers visiting a virtual store went on to make a purchase.

Apart from credit cards, different modes of payment like Etisalat wallet and Smile Points that can be reimbursed, would also be integrated into the payment system.

Shedding light on the expected commercial launch, he says, “It’ll go live after eight to nine months once it’s officially announced. Everybody now wants to see this widely available. Metaverse will be available on the Etisalat website sooner than later. We are already in talks with Etisalat to roll this out across all Etisalat stores… creating a retail environment with the digital world (through metaverse) so that people can have this feeling of being into the store. Etisalat may also take this forward by going into the next phase where they may have more people added onto their platform like the government departments and others.”

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